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Be Strong Take-Over Presented by JM Family Enterprises, Inc.

Be Strong — the non-profit bullying prevention organization whose first-of-its-kind student-led approach, with over 300 student leaders in 42 states, helping an estimated 230,000 students — today announced it has partnered with JM Family Enterprises, Office Depot, People's Trust Insurance, and Kiwanis International, alongside Hero Sponsor, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, a Designer Brands Inc. company, to host a Be Strong school-takeover and assembly on November 7, 2019, at Deerfield Beach High School (Deerfield Beach, Florida). The event will serve, educate and empower 2,500 students. 

"Bullying is a very real problem for today's high school students. Deerfield Beach High School is delighted to host such an extraordinary event that will empower and inspire our students. We are confident that the Be Strong program will provide our students with the knowledge, tools, and skills to eradicate bullying and social isolation from our campus and community," explained Jon Marlow, Principal of Deerfield Beach High School.

Be Strong's team has developed an innovative, student-led approach to helping young people prevent and manage traditional and cyber bullying, which has become a national issue, as one in five ninth through 12th graders in the U.S. report being victims of bullying behavior. Through its events, student-led programs and its specially developed app, Be Strong answers the ever-increasing demand for support, guidance, expertise and resources for students, schools and families to help prevent bullying, social isolation and suicide.

"JM Family stands behind the efforts of Be Strong to end childhood bullying by empowering and educating students," said Brent Burns, president and CEO, JM Family. "We strive to support organizations that work toward building stronger communities, and we are committed to bringing awareness to this important issue so that more local children can start each school day feeling safe and ready to learn."

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 19% of ninth to 12th grade students have been bullied on school property, and 17.2% of students have seriously considered suicide. The CDC also reports that 31.5% of students have felt hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks, and 7.4% of students have attempted suicide one or more times in the past 12 months.

Jonica Armstrong, Community Relations Manager said, "DSW is all about fostering strength and confidence, countrywide, which is why we partner with Be Strong to encourage self-expression, celebrate individuality and promote resilience.  We are a proud supporter of the students Be Strong reaches."

The need for Be Strong in today's culture is clear. Young people, now more than ever, must understand that their uniqueness is what sets them apart, opposed to holding them back. In our modern, digital world, where peer interaction is always a click away, emotional resilience is the key to maintaining a positive self-image and outlook.

"Office Depot is committed to supporting the communities where we work and live, including the students, parents and teachers at schools throughout the country," said Alex Price, National Director of Community Investment for Office Depot, Inc. "We're proud to partner with Be Strong on this important educational event, to help empower young people and aid in their efforts prevent bullying."

At the Deerfield Beach High School Be Strong take-over, audience will be inspired with step-by-step guidance to help young people gain access to and develop the knowledge, tools and leadership skills needed to support each other at their schools and in their communities, through Be Strong's student-led program and app.

In an ongoing effort to educate and intervene within schools and the community, each grade level at the high school will be enlightened, entertained and empowered. Students will learn resilience, the importance of self-love, social and emotional skills based on the Golden Rule, and how to live unaffected by insults, while hearing personal stories of triumph.

Brooke Gold Hasson, Director of Marketing and Communication said, "People's Trust Insurance Company is proud to partner with Be Strong and Deerfield Beach High School to help prevent bullying in our schools. This event is critical in equipping and empowering students to team up and change behaviors. We believe in this program and are proud to help make a difference in our local community."

Each hour-long presentation of the take-over will feature insight and best practices for navigating and recovering from bullying by veteran school psychologist, the bullying expert's bullying expert, Izzy Kalman, Be Strong student leaders, and bullying survivors, whose inspirational stories of strength and overcoming adversity have opened minds and hearts across the country.

Be Strong's approach focuses on the power of self and using social-emotional knowledge to understand and avert social aggression. While generating awareness for action around the issue, including how to identify and prevent bullying, and utilize support options available, Be Strong helps students achieve personal victory by avoiding a victim mentality. To date, Be Strong has reached roughly 5.2 million students with a message of hope and resilience.

ABOUT BE STRONG
Be Strong is a non-profit empowering youth to prevent bullying, social isolation and suicide by igniting change in peer behavior through a comprehensive student – led approach to: encourage all students to reveal challenges they are facing, train and equip students to become more resilient, arm them with the Be Strong App to access real time and local resources that can help, and unite them to change their families, schools, communities, states, and country. Additional information on Be Strong's events and initiatives is available at https://bestrong.global/ or (954) 246-5807. Be Strong is a 501(c)3 and all donations are 100% tax-deductible.
About JM Family Enterprises, Inc.

JM Family Enterprises, Inc., founded by Jim Moran in 1968, is a $16.3 billion diversified automotive company ranked No. 21 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. It is also ranked No. 17 by FORTUNE® as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, its 21st consecutive year on the list. JM Family has more than 4,400 associates and its primary subsidiaries include: Southeast Toyota Distributors, the world’s largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles; JM&A Group, one of the leading independent providers of finance and insurance (F&I) products in the automotive industry; Southeast Toyota Finance and DataScan, both part of World Omni Financial Corp., a diversified financial services company; JM Lexus, South Florida’s only Lexus Plus dealer; and Home Franchise Concepts, a franchise network of home improvement products and services consisting of Budget Blinds, Tailored Living, Concrete Craft and AdvantaClean. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Fla., JM Family has major U.S. operations in Jacksonville and Margate, Fla.; Commerce and Alpharetta, Ga.; Mobile, Ala.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Irvine, Calif. Interact with JM Family on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

About JM Family Corporate Philanthropy

Founded in 1968 by automotive legend Jim Moran, JM Family Enterprises, Inc. is committed to continuing his guiding philosophy of giving back to the communities where our associates live and work. By sharing time, talents and resources, we keep his spirit alive and cultivate something significant and lasting – stronger families and stronger communities. JM Family's corporate philanthropy is focused on four areas of giving – empowering families and nurturing children, providing for essential needs, promoting education and preserving our environment. Our philanthropic mission is to be a leader in corporate citizenship, and through strategic utilization of our resources, improve the quality of life in the communities in which we live and work.